TalentSumerization – The Employee Experience in Agile Enterprises

TalentSumerization – The Employee Experience in Agile Enterprises

Author: Fabiola Eyholzer

Everything about work is changing at an accelerated pace and employees start to think about work like consumers. Unsurprisingly, “Consumerization of Human Resources (HR)” – or “TalentSumerization” – has been identified as one of the most defining and disruptive trends of the industry. Enterprises who capitalize on the Agile | HR power due (with Agile4HR and HR4Agile) have a leg up to defeat the employee engagement crisis.

Everything about work – what we expect from our work, how and where we work, what technologies we use and with whom we work – is changing at an accelerated pace. As organizations, but especially as Human Resources (HR), we need to anticipate the future and take action to address this employee engagement crisis.

The days of extrinsic motivation and employees as resources are gone. Employees in general – and digital natives in particular – are no longer only looking for a career: They seek an experience. And for that, one size certainly no longer fits all. People want to be an active part in shaping their workspace and they certainly want a voice – not only when it comes to their own career development, but across the whole HR value chain.

The movement towards personalization in the workforce has been coined the “Consumerization of HR” – or “TalentSumerization”. It describes the idea of creating a social, mobile, and consumer-style experiences for employees inside the company. So, just as companies must ensure service excellence for their customers, HR must strive for service excellence for their employees.

In fact, consumerization of human resources was identified as one of the most defining and disruptive trends of the industry.

The Playbook

Creating a “workplace as an experience” means to carefully align all elements of work — the physical, the emotional, the intellectual, the virtual, and the aspirational — to inspire employees. However, preparing for the new world of work is not an easy process and there is no quick fix either. But the evolution of work will continue regardless, and businesses that can make the right decisions now, will be able to iterate and learn fast – giving them a chance to get ahead and take the lead. Here are five strategies to get started:

1 – Think Holistically: The way a company interact with employees and the kind of consistent and immersive experience it creates is the ultimate expression of business values, identity and culture.

2 – Apply Design Thinking: HR must design with the real customer in mind and view employees as individuals and create experiences that are personalized, intuitive, and engaging.

3 – Instill Cultural Anchors: Identity and authenticity are the cornerstones of building a strong workplace culture and distinguishing an organization as a great place to work.

4 – Be Agile: Industrial age structures and practices give way to Agile values, practices, and principles. Agile has evolved as the predominant business and leadership approach.

5 – Gamify HR: Take the essence of games — attributes such as fun, play, transparency, design, competition and yes, addiction— and apply is to a range of HR processes.

The Agile Advantage

Companies are aware of the challenging task ahead. And it is organizations who apply a Lean | Agile business and leadership approach who are forerunners in changing the world of work. The article features a series of incredible stories to illustrate how forward-thinking organizations think outside the box and approach HR topics differently. The stories are clustered into the following themes:

  • Go from a name change to a game change
  • First impressions count
  • Hire by the team for the team
  • Avoid hire’s remorse
  • Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate
  • Take money off the table
  • Hack learning & teaching
  • Recognize the power shift
  • Invest in continuous growth
  • Walk the talk


We are asking employees, leaders, HR, and organizations to change – not a small change, but an overhaul of the known. When confronted with such a big transformation, everyone’s favorite question is: “WIIFM – What’s in It For Me?”

WIIFM as an employee? – Modern employees seek meaning and purpose along with appreciation and respect. They are intrinsically motivated and must be allowed to manage themselves with the necessary autonomy and empowerment. And TalentSumerization is all employees and giving them a unique experience. They are actively involved in shaping their company, their job, and their career.

WIIFM as a leader? – Companies are looking for a new breed of inspiring and supportive leaders. And the new way of working means leaving behind managerial tasks like tiresome meetings, micro-management, and employee ratings, and instead be able to focus on leading work and inspiring and developing people.

WIIFM as HR? – Agile teams are more engaged and motivated compared to people working in more traditional settings – making them more productive and less likely to leave their companies. Those organizations remain competitive in attracting, engaging and inspiring top talent. This will turn HR from a cost center (fighting to proof their value) to a business driver (and – yes – get you that seat at the table).

WIIFM as an organization? – Companies cannot grow and thrive without an engaged workforce. But investing in people is not just the right, but the smart thing to do: Organizations with highly engaged employees are proven to increase revenues substantially.

There is no denying: Human Resources is facing its biggest transformation yet, but with this challenge also comes the unique opportunity to actively reshape the face and impact of HR forever. And even though it is not an easy journey, it is a transformation towards a future that promises to be something different, something better. So, the question is not should you invest in TalentSumerization, but can you afford not to.

Are you ready to rock the workplace?

This post was contributed by Fabiola Eyholzer, CEO of Just Leading Solutions, LLC. More information about Fabiola, Agile HR and the services of Just Leading Solutions can be found at www.justleadingsolutions.com.

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